The Government is to consider plans for extra support for communities that have taken in large numbers of refugees or asylum seekers at a cabinet committee meeting today. A fund with a maximum of €500,000 each is to be allocated to be used to refurbish derelict buildings and develop parks and playgrounds in the relevant communities.
The Irish Examiner reports that a second round of the Community Recognition Fund, worth €50M is under discussion for the 10 communities with the most refugees and asylum seekers.
In 2023, County Tipperary secured €998,000 of the €50M allocated nationally – the five largest allocations from the fund were €140,000 to Dundrum Community Hall, €117,500 Clonmel Sports Complex, €100,000 Knockavilla Donaskeigh GAA club, €75,000 to Moycarkey Borris Community Centre in Littleton and €58,000 Moycarkey-Borris GAA club.
This year’s fund is to allocate a minimum of €50,000 with a maximum of €500,000 with scope for higher funding in exceptional circumstances.
The fund’s conditions will state there can be no impact on existing local services arising from the projects proposed. Education Minister Norma Foley is seeking an extra €125M for extra capacity in schools for this year.
The second round of the Community Recognition Fund, first established at the end of 2022, is to focus on the delivery of larger-scale projects which are more impactful for communities such as the Government plan to purchase a community hotel in Roscrea after the only operating hotel in town was secured to provide accommodation to 160 asylum seekers.
It is understood the €50M will also be ring-fenced over next year and 2026 and will be allocated to counties based on the number of arrivals in each local authority. Tipperary County Council will need to apply to the Department of Rural and Community Development with an outline of the projects they want to undertake and evidence of local consultation.
Councils will be required to submit three sets of proposed projects rather than the previous eight-week application timeframe.
The government is also considering plans to deploy more Gardaí from the Garda National Immigration Bureau to high-risk airports abroad to clamp down on people destroying their travel documentation.